Monday, February 28, 2011

EA waterways to join new 'national trust' for the waterways — but not until 2015

The Government has announced plans for a phased transfer of all state-owned waterways in England and Wales into a new waterway charity. The British Waterways’ canals and rivers will move in 2012 and the Environment Agency (EA) navigations move will be delayed until 2015 so that sufficient funding can be found for the charity to take on the liabilities associated with the EA navigations.
BW Chairman, Tony Hales said, “We welcome the Government’s continued commitment to the planned ‘national trust for the waterways’ and hope the EA navigations may be able to benefit in the future.  
"While there will be some who are disappointed by the decision not to include all the state-owned waterways from the outset, we appreciate the Government’s caution in ensuring the considerable issues of financial sustainability for the EA navigations have first been fully addressed.”
Consultation on the proposal to establish a ‘national trust’ for British Waterways’ canals and rivers in England and Wales is expected to begin in March.  
The setting up of the new charity will be enabled by the Public Bodies Bill later this year and the new waterways charity is expected to be up and running by April 2012, subject to Parliamentary time and consent.

The full government statement can be read at: http://tinyurl.com/defra-statement

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